I bet you know your BMI… but do you know your WHR?

WHR Nutrition Shumilov Ludmila Unsplash E1568753668711

I bet you know your BMI… but do you know your WHR?


What is WHR? WHR stands for Waist-to-Hip Ratio

Health wise – metrics have moved on since the BMI (Body Mass Index) tool was developed. It’s now known that the BMI tool misses those people with regular weight to height ratio but who carry extra weight around their middle – called central adiposity – which carries a higher chance of dying sooner from diabetes or heart disease (plus it’s misleading for athletes who carry a lot of muscle – but that’s not most of us).

I ask many of my clients – and not just weight loss clients – to measure their WHR as it’s a great overall health benchmark, and will hewlp inform your 
healthy eating, exercise and lifestyle plan. 

Method: to  find your WHR – use a tape measure to measure the circumference of your waist and hips in cm

To find your waist circumference – measure at the narrowest point between your RIBS and HIPS after exhaling. Write down the first measurement.

To find your hip circumference – measure at the point where the buttocks are widest when viewed from the side. Write down the second measurement.

THEN divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement. (For example, someone with a 30″ (76 cm) waist and 38″ (97 cm) hips has a waist-hip ratio of about 0.78).

According to the WHO (World Health Organisation) a healthy WHR is:-

– 0.85 or less for WOMEN
– 0.90 or less for MEN

In both men and women, a WHR of 1.0 or higher increases the risk for heart disease and other weight related health conditions such as diabetes.

More detail:

LOW 0.80 or lower 0.95 or lower
MODERATE 0.81–0.85 0.96–1.0
HIGH 0.86 or higher 1.0 or higher


***Clients please now email both hip and waist measurements to me, clearly stating which is which, the unit of measurement and the date you took the measurements. I will then send your WHR back to you if you haven’t already calculated it – & include it in your benchmarks.

I will ask you to repeat the process approx every 1-2 months. Thank you, Sarah ***

Please note, the WHR is only suitable for adults and does not apply to children.

If you would like some targeted recommendations to improve your own waist to hip ratio or just some bespoke coaching to enable you to reach your health and nutrition goals – don’t hesitate to get in touch and discuss a nutrition consultation with Sarah.


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